Table of Contents
We just installed very standard aluminum-frame sliding glass windows. The channels
are three-track to allow two sliding windows and one sliding mosquito net frame.
The frames can be painted in any color but we just went with off-white to keep it neutral
and bright. Old material can be reused as long as the new windows are smaller. Otherwise
you get excellent recycling rates for Aluminum. We paid around Rs. 200/sq.ft. for new
windows and Rs. 150/sq.ft. for refurbishing existing windows with new glass.
The fabrication contractor will also do other jobs such as window grills, bathroom windows
and grills, grill doors, ladders, etc.
Fenesta is an independent window maker than will provide you with customized windows are
per your requirements. Instead of channels, they have a single-track monorail-type of
sliding system. So dust does not accumulate in the channels and sliding never becomes a problem.
They also used excellent quality glass and can give you a wooden frame. They are very
expensive but the windows eventually look really spectacular.
There is some Plaster of Paris (PoP) work that needs to be done in the house. This is
fairly skilled work as the laborers will mostly be repairing broken pieces in the walls and
ceilings, and a smooth finish is essential. Here are some of work that they will do:
Its a bit difficult to get good PoP workers and they refuse to come for small jobs. They also
charge quite a bit of money, mostly charging for a whole day's work even for small touch-ups.
So its best to accumulate all the PoP wok towards the end just before carpentry, and get it
all done in one visit.
- Smooth broken walls such as grooves made for electrical fittings, skirting around
tiles, closing old electrical points, filling cracks in walls, etc. This costs around
Rs. 12-18/r.ft. with skirting finishing costing more than filling up grooves in the walls.
- Install the false ceiling using gypsum sheets. The sheets will cost around Rs. 70/sq.ft.
and installation and rounding of the edges will cost another Rs. 65/r.ft.
- Make electrical holes in these ceilings
for light fittings which costs around Rs. 50-75 per hole.
- Covering newly-laid tiles with PoP to prevent damage to them due to other work in the
house. We covered our tiles with plastic sheets so not sure how much this work costs.
If you have any known pest issues in your building/area, its best to get the
pest control done initially. The best time to do it is when the civil work is
getting over, and before the initial painting and carpentry work begins. As our
carpenters did their
work, they discovered some more pest problems - termites - so the
pest control guys came again to handle these extra problems. Make sure that they
give a good warranty period to handle issues that come up after you move in.
We paid around Rs. 6500 for our 1600 sq. ft. flat.
You can get water-proof doors for your bathrooms. They come in standard sizes and
are made of plastic so they do not rot like wooden doors in the wet area in the
bathrooms. They also come in standard designs and cost around Rs. 1000-1500. However,
they may not match your decor and are a bit light and flimsy. So its best to get
wooden doors with your choice of laminates, provided you can keep the door area in
the bathroom dry. Alternatively, you can put a metal sheet cover at the bottom of the
door to keep the water from spoiling the wood.
We also installed a door in our terrace which is exposed to sun and rain. The bathroom
doors are only resistant to water, not sun. So for our terrace, we got a special PVC
door which cost around Rs. 1800 at Rs. 120/sq.ft. It is quite light compared to wood,
and comes in some basic colors such as brown, cream, white, etc. This door can sustain
heat and water so its ideal for terraces. The special doors are easily available in
some local stores in Timber Market in Pune.
Our balcony and terrace railings were made of iron and painted. For our internal staircase
(since ours is a duplex flat), we used a stainless steel railing. These railings are very
standard and there's a shop around every corner who can install it for you. If you choose
the heavy-grade 304 steel, it costs around Rs. 1100-1200/r.ft., and the lower-grade 202
steel will cost Rs. 900-1000/r.ft. The bigger your railing, the cheaper the installation
will be. The typical design consists of 1" balusters with a 1" top rod, and three 1/2"
rods below which are fixed perpendicular to the balusters. You can also get glass sheets
instead of the 1/2" rods but it tends to be more expensive and requires more maintenance
(fingerprints with kids!).
You can also get a wooden railing which is nicer to look and use (doesn't get cold in
winters!) but its made of real wood so its expensive, and requires continual maintenance
in the form of polishing. Make sure you measure the final length or your railing so you
know exactly how much to pay.
Furnishings and Decor
Furnishings and other decor items really make the house a home. There is a wide variety
of choice and take your time with it. You can move in before doing any decor work and do
it at leisure. A couple of items top the priority list - curtains and linen. Try to get
these items as you move in. Curtains and linen can be found in many shops in malls and
on/off Lakshmi Road. A lot of malls also carry lovely decor items. Online stores have
also become popular in India. Listing some of the ones I know:
Pepper Fry, and
All the laborers try to clean up the mess that they create, but some times they do a
half-hearted job. The expectation is that you will get some professional cleaning done
before you move into your home. Its probably worth it so you get a good feeling when
you move in. There is a lot of dust in the house which causes problems for things
like window channels, all glass panes, etc. Tiles and bathrooms can also use a more thorough
cleaning, especially if the latter have been used by the laborers on site. Professional
cleaners charge around Rs. 4 to Rs. 10/sq.ft. depending on the level of uncleanliness.